Some of you may remember the blog I wrote on March 26th about a couple from Minnesota with a passion for nature and adventure. If you don’t recall the exact details please click here.
You will be delighted to know that Kate Crowley and Mike Link hiked down the Keweenaw Peninsula this week and made it to Baraga County! I have been enthusiastically following their progress on their website and Facebook. (One of the positives of my Facebook experience lately.)
My husband, Barry, wanted to interview them for our newspaper, the L’Anse Sentinel, and I thought another blog might be appropriate, so we set off to meet Mike and Kate at the Baraga Park on Friday at noon. We arrived at their camping site where their support staff of two helpful friends awaited their approach.
Beth, one of their friends, offered to drive us down the road to meet the hikers. We caught up with them near Sand Point where they gave Barry an interview. I didn’t want to steal my poor husband’s interview word-for-word so I returned to the state park later in the evening for their presentation.
(Gosh, I haven’t taken notes for years! Even though I have a degree in journalism, I haven’t practiced intense note-taking in ages. It was actually fun to sit in front of a yellow lined notebook and scribble many of the stories they shared.)
Ready for some of their stories?
As of last night they had traveled 387 miles. Since they average 15 miles a day, you can guess their current count this evening. They headed north and east out of L’Anse this morning, up the Point Abbaye Peninsula. After that they’ll be Skanee-bound before hitting Marquette County.
Their goal is to stay as close to the shoreline as possible. Not an easy feat. (Not always easy on the feet either–especially on challenging rocky beaches.) Sometimes they walk in the lake. They’ve forded many a stream.
They are fresh-water enthusiasts like you’ve rarely encountered, singing the praises of Lake Superior. Did you all know that 10% of the fresh water on the planet comes from our lake? All of the Great Lakes equal 20% of the surface fresh water on the earth.
“We are walking because we want to have fresh and clear water for our grandchildren’s grandchildren,” Mike said. He also urged all of us to act to help the planet. “It doesn’t have to be a major thing. We all just have to care about the future.”
Kate told an endearing story about deer running out from the woods down to Lake Superior to splash and play in the waves. One of the deer ran into the water and kicked and splashed before frolicking back up to the sand. He then scampered back and forth–looking just like a child at play. Finally he glimpsed the two hikers and dashed back into the woods. They later saw similar deer-frolicking behavior on the beach again.
They have seen more than 75 bird species since they left Duluth on April 29th. Lots of bald eagles. A dramatic seagull rescue occurred at the beginning of their trip in Wisconsin. They spied a gull floundering in the surf and discovered a fishing Rapala with a hook caught in the bird’s beak and foot. Fortunately, their friend was able to pry out the hooks with wire-cutting apparatus and save the seagull.
“Some people would say ‘It’s just a gull’,” Kate said, “but no way could we have left an animal suffering like that.”
Their most challenging day happened early in the trip near Ashland, Wisconsin, with gale warnings, 20-30 mph winds and 40 mph gusts. It was 39 degrees and raining when they began walking, but the rain soon turned to pelting slush and–you guessed it–snow. They walked 13 miles that day and were nearing hypothermia when they finally stopped.
The extremely hot days last week also proved challenging. Hopefully the temperatures will stay above 32 and below 90 for the hikers as they continue their journey around Lake Superior.
They urged that people set dreams and goals for themselves. That there is no age limit to having dreams–no time to stop dreaming. As grandparents in their 60′s, Kate and Mike are a testament to Dreaming Big!
I could share more of their stories but how about you visit their website instead? The Hiker’s Journal pages with daily entries are especially fascinating.
Thank you for taking the time to talk with us about your incredible adventure, Mike and Kate! It will be great fun to watch your progress around Lake Superior. We’re all cheering you on…